Holiday home owners in row over second home cuts

Town Hall
Town Hall

The plan to abolish council tax benefits for people with a second home has been criticised by the owner of a holiday home in Eastbourne.

Ben Rogoff says he is digusted that Eastbourne Borough Council is scrapping the second home discount to his council tax bill.

Across the country, councils have been forced to scrap certain council tax benefits after the government axed funding for the scheme and from April 1 people who own second homes in Eastbourne will lose the 10 per cent discount they currently receive and will have to pay a full council tax bill for their second home.

Mr Rogoff said, “The council may think that people that are lucky enough to own holiday homes are ‘fair game’ but I feel very strongly that this is a poor decision on your part because the 10 per cent discount was only ever a nominal one that ‘showed willing’ on the council’s part.

“My family and I love Eastbourne and when we are there we make it our business to spend money at local stores, eat out at restaurants and do our bit for a town we have been visiting all our lives. As such we barely consume any local services. We certainly consume far less permanent single person households to whom you offer a 25 per cent discount.

“I appreciate that times are tough but this is a very short-sighted decision. Eastbourne is a town centred around tourism – you should be embracing people like us.

“We bought a near derelict house, spent many thousands of pounds with a local builder and mostly local suppliers and try our very best to add to the community. And this is how you treat us. Shame on you.”

A spokesperson at Eastbourne Borough Council said, “The government has put the onus on local authorities to introduce local schemes that must be delivered within the reduced grant and proposals went out to consultation last year and in January 2013 a new Local Council Tax Support Scheme was agreed by Eastbourne Borough Council which comes into affect on April 1.

“Previously, a 10 per cent reduction on his council tax bill was applicable but from April 1 all second home owners will have to pay full council tax. All those affected have been told in writing in advance of their council tax bill being sent out.”